The skipper of a Spanish-owned fishing vessel which was detained by the Irish naval authorities has appeared in court in relation to 12 alleged breaches of fishing regulations.
The appearance in court by 55-year-old Juan Pablo Docal Rubido, from Coruna in Spain, followed the detention last Monday of the German-registered, Spanish-owned, Pesorsa Dos in Irish fishing waters.
The vessel was detained by the LE George Bernard Shaw off the southwest coast and escorted to port at Castletownbere in west Cork, where it remains at the moment.
Its skipper, Mr Docal Rubido whose full address is Cuidad de Lugo 5, Third Floor, Coruna, Spain, was arrested today and brought before a special sitting of Bandon District Court.
He is charged with 12 breaches of fishing regulations. These include that, while within the exclusive fishing limits of this State, he failed to record the depth of his fleet, between the 5th and 9th of January last; that he failed to record accurate soak times - or times for the vessel's fishing gear to be in the water; and nine counts that he exceeded the permitted soak times of 72 hours for the fishing gear, all of which are alleged to have happened between the 5th of January and the 24th of January.
He is also charged with failing to facilitate the safe and effective boarding of the vessel by officials on the 23rd of January, in that the boarding ladder broke while being used for the purpose of boarding to inspect the vessel.
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Garda Geraldine O'Sullivan told the court in Bandon this afternoon that she read all of the charges to Mr Docal Rubido, through an interpreter, and he didn’t make any reply to any of them.
She said that she served a book of evidence on the accused and handed it to him.
State solicitor Jerry Healy said the DPP had consented to a return for trial to the circuit court and that there was no State objection to the accused being released on bail.
He asked for an order for the indefinite detention of equipment and the vessel’s catch to be extended, unless and until a bond of €245,000 was paid, and this was granted by Judge Colm Roberts.
Judge Roberts returned the accused for trial to the next sittings of Cork Circuit Criminal Court, starting on the 31st of January next, and warned the accused that if he intends to rely on alibi evidence in his defence that he must inform the State of this within 14 days.
Solicitor for the accused, Dermot Conway, formally applied for bail and this was granted, with the judge setting the defendant’s bond at €5,000. "We have to make sure people realise how serious these matters are," Judge Roberts said.
The accused did not have to speak during the court hearing and left after signing his bail bond.